Top 4 Ways a Spouse Can Hide Assets in a Divorce
In a Long Island divorce, both parties are required to provide full financial disclosure of assets and debts. If one spouse has more assets than the other, or one spouse does not work and are afraid they won’t receive spousal support, they may try to conceal assets from being discovered by a New York divorce court.
This is against the law and may result in legal penalties. Here are some common ways a spouse may attempt to hide assets, and how you can get reliable legal assistance during a divorce on Long Island.
#1. Opening a Bank Account in a Child’s Name
One of the most common but easily traceable ways to hide assets prior to a Long Island divorce is to open a bank account in a child’s name, or sometimes another person’s name, and to begin funneling money into the account.
This is typically done with a basic checking account, allowing the spouse who is concealing their assets continuous access to those assets both during and after the divorce via check, debit card, or ATM withdrawal. Again however, attempting to conceal assets in this manner creates an easy-to-follow paper trail that most New York family courts will be able to locate without difficulty.
#2. Loaning Money to a Friend
A spouse with a lot of liquid cash assets may “loan” money to a friend or family member, or pay them for a service that was never rendered. The friend then agrees to hold onto the money, usually in cash somewhere that cannot be traced back to the spouse, with the intent to pay it back once the divorce is over.
The goal of this illegal activity is to keep large cash reserves off the divorce court records and to have full use of these resources once the divorce is finalized.
#3. Making a Deal with Their Employer
If the spouse is due for a merit raise, bonus, or a promotion, they may attempt to make a deal with their employer where those things are put on hold until after the divorce is finalized.
The goal of this is to make the spouse’s income appear less than it will be after the divorce, so fewer assets and less alimony are awarded to the other party by the judge overseeing the divorce case
#4. Doctoring Business Accounting Records
If one spouse owns a business or both spouses own a business together, the disingenuous party may attempt to hide assets by doctoring the company’s accounting records.
For example, a spouse may submit expenses that are higher than ordinary, targeting the extra cash. They may record fake purchases that never occurred, so the money can be funneled into another account to which their ex-spouse has no access.
This type of fraud may be more difficult to assess than say a spouse starting a bank account in their child’s name. If the company’s records and supporting documents calculate out correctly, it can be very challenging, if not impossible, to determine the original source of the money and/or how much belongs to each spouse.
Get Legal Help Now If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets
If you are getting a divorce or are discussing the option of dissolving your marriage with your spouse, and suspect they may be hiding assets, an experienced divorce attorney can be of big help. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you locate hidden assets that you may have a right to under New York’s equitable distribution property division laws and assert your claim to what is rightfully yours. Without adequate legal support, especially if you’re the lesser earning spouse, you could sign a divorce agreement that is very much against your best interests and future.
Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today for more information or to schedule your free initial consultation by calling 631-923-1910 or filling out the short form on this page. It’s critical that you don’t delay as soon as you find out that your spouse may be trying to conceal assets in your Long Island divorce. Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. has the skills and experience necessary to help you determine if your spouse is indeed hiding assets from you, and what your legal options are concerning restitution.
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